A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change was held on Thursday. Senator Seemi Ezdi chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Keshoo Bai, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Faisal Javed, Senator Humayun Mohmand and senior officers of the Ministry of Climate Change along with its attached departments and agencies. Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman was also present. Senator Irfan Siddiqui who was a mover; was present in the meeting as well.
Issues taken up entailed, the newly formulated Hazardous Waste Disposal Policy; An estimate of Pakistan’s climate financing needs; details of bilateral and multilateral support; initiatives to increase green projects and strategies developed to deal with forest fires.
The Committee was informed that the Ministry has been incessantly working towards the betterment of the environment and is in constant touch with the provinces. With regards to the Hazardous Waste Disposal Policy, formulated by EPA for environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in order to safeguard public health and environment the Committee was further informed that Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries will be taken on board for adaptation and implementation of the policy in the provinces. The Ministry for Climate Change plays an important role in policy making and keeping international commitments on a holistic scale. It was asserted in order to ensure implementation in addition to taking provinces on board; it was essential that a framework for penalties be created. The Committee took stringent notice of Pakistan being made a dumping ground for global waste and that 40 NOCs have been granted for import of global wattage to Pakistan.
While reviewing Pakistan’s Climate financing needs it was stated that Pakistan had limited access to international climate funds that posed a major hurdle in achieving climate goals in the country as Pakistan has been ranked globally in the top ten countries that is most affected by climate change in the past 20 years. Total GEF and GCF Financing worth USD 159.42 million and Grants amounting to USD113.2 million were received.
Reviewing preventive measures to deal with forest fires the Committee was of the view that penalties for perpetrators must be enhanced and stringent measures must be taken to ensure that this trend is curbed next year.